Movies

Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in ‘Star Wars,’ has died

Peter Mayhew, the actor best known for playing the character Chewbacca in the “Star Wars” movie series, died on Tuesday, his family announced on his Twitter page. He was 74 years old. “The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home,” the tweet posted on Thursday said. Mayhew’s cause of death is unclear. Accompanying the post was an image of Mayhew and the beloved Wookie character, as well as a longer statement from his family that laid out which “Star Wars” movies the actor appeared in. They included “the original Star Wars trilogy, episode 3 of the prequels, and the New Trilogy.” “He fought his way back from being wheelchair-bound to stand tall and portray Chewbacca once more in Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” the family said, adding that Mayhew served as a consultant for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in order to “teach his successor.” “He put his heart and soul into the role of Chewbacca and it showed in every frame of the films from his knock kneed running, firing his bowcaster from the hip, his bright blue eyes, down to each subtle movement of his head and mouth,” the statement said. “But, to him, the Star Wars family meant so much more to him than a role in a film.” The statement went on to highlight how important Mayhew’s fellow cast members and fans were to him. It also highlighted his work with charities and other organizations, as well as the start of the Peter Mayhew Foundation. “As he grew older he continued to ‘soldier on’ as he put it and was completely in his element around his fans and supporters,” the statement said. “He grew great strength from the energy of his family, friends and the fans he knew and loved.” Mayhew leaves behind his wife, Angie and his three children, the statement said. Following word of Mayhew’s death, “Star Wars” co-star Mark Hamill — who played Luke Skywalker in the films — tweeted his sadness over the passing of his friend. “He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I’m grateful for the memories we shared & I’m a better man for just having known him,” he wrote. “Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken.” Last summer, Mayhew revealed on Twitter that he’d undergone spinal surgery “to improve my mobility,” which he said had been successful. The operation would prevent him from attending a Comic Con event, he said.

We’re so very saddened to hear of Peter’s passing.  Thanks for all the laughs and great memories, “Chewy.”  May the force be with you, always.  R.I.P.

‘Avengers: Endgame’ leaves box office records in the dust

The universe belongs to Marvel. “Avengers: Endgame” shattered the record for biggest opening weekend with an estimated $350 million in ticket sales domestically and $1.2 billion globally, reaching a new pinnacle in the blockbuster era that the comic-book studio has come to dominate. The “Avengers” finale far exceeded even its own gargantuan expectations, according to studio estimates Sunday. The movie had been forecast to open between $260 million and $300 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, but moviegoers turned out in such droves that “Endgame” blew past the previous record of $257.7 million, set last year by “Avengers: Infinity War” when it narrowly surpassed “The Force Awakens.” “Endgame” was just as enormous overseas. Worldwide, it obliterated the previous record of $640.5 million, also set by “Infinity War.” (“Infinity War” didn’t open in China, the world’s second largest movie market, until two weeks after its debut.) “Endgame” set a new weekend record in China, too, where it made $330.5 million. In one fell swoop, “Endgame” has already made more than movies like “Skyfall,” ”Aquaman” and “The Dark Knight Rises” grossed in their entire runs, not accounting for inflation. Alan Horn, Disney chairman, credited Marvel Studios and its president, Kevin Feige, for challenging “notions of what is possible at the movie theater.” “This weekend’s monumental success is a testament to the world they’ve envisioned, the talent involved, and their collective passion, matched by the irrepressible enthusiasm of fans around the world,” Horn said in a statement. To accommodate demand, the Walt Disney Co. released “Endgame” in more theaters — 4,662 in the U.S. and Canada — than any opening before. Advance ticketing services set new records. Early ticket buyers crashed AMC’s website. And starting Thursday, some theaters even stayed open 72 hours straight. “We’ve got some really tired staff,” said John Fithian, president and chief executive of the National Association of Theater Owners. “I talked to an exhibitor in Kansas who said, ‘I’ve never sold out a 7 a.m. show on Saturday morning before,’ and they were doing it all across their circuit.” Not working in the film’s favor was its lengthy running time: 181 minutes. But theaters kept added thousands of showings for “Endgame” to get it on more screens than any movie before to satiate the frenzy around “Endgame.” Joe and Anthony Russo’s film ties together the “Avengers” storyline as well as the previous 21 releases of the Marvel “cinematic universe,” begun with 2008’s “Iron Man.” For an industry dogged by uncertainty over the growing role of streaming, the weekend was a mammoth display of the movie theater’s lucrative potency. Fithian called it possibly “the most significant moment in the modern history of the movie business.” “We’re looking at more than 30 million American and more than 100 million global guests that experienced ‘Endgame’ on the big screen in one weekend,” Fithian said. “The numbers are just staggering.” Further boosting the results for “Endgame” were good reviews; it currently ranks as 96% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes…

Wow..  Endgame was truly epic.  There were cheers and tears.  I was exhausted after watching Friday night.  Of course, we won’t be like the Washington Post and won’t spoil anything.   Great movie.  It was the cinematic event of a generation; not just this summer, or this year.  Definitely a worthy end to the saga spanning 11 years.   🙂

Planned Parenthood forces cancellation of ‘Gosnell’ screening

Planned Parenthood convinced a hotel in Austin, Texas, to cancel a screening of a new movie about convicted abortionist Kermit Gosnell, according to the film’s producers. The movie, “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” which opens in theaters Oct. 12, was to be screened Saturday night in the Hyatt Hotel in the Texas capital at the same time Planned Parenthood hosts a $400 a plate gala dinner headlined by Cecille Richards, the organization’s former CEO. The movie’s producers, however, were told Monday by the hotel the screen was canceled for “security reasons.” The producers told WND they paid the deposit and signed the contract to reserve the space for the screening. “Everything that was required by the Hyatt was provided and completed as required,” a spokesman said. Producer Ann McElhinney said the movie screening “gave a real choice to the people of Austin.” “Over 250 had already registered to go and we were receiving dozens of new RSVPs every day,” she said. “But now thanks to the bullying of Planned Parenthood and the cowardice of the Hyatt they won’t get to see the Gosnell Movie and the truth about abortion.” Gosnell, who ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia, was convicted in 2011 of multiple counts of first degree murder for late-term and after-birth abortions. A routine investigation led to the discovery of the criminal abortion operation, which Gosnell had been running for years. The producers say the movie exposes the lack of attention the case received at the time. Planned Parenthood’s Richards had been invited to the screening at the Hyatt, the producers said. Producer Phelim McAleer said the cancellation is “only a temporary victory for the forces of intolerance that have tried to bury this story all along the way.” He said the Hyatt screening was just a “sneak peek” before the movie is brought to 750 screens nationwide on Oct. 12. The film centers on Detective James “Woody” Wood, played by Dean Cain, and his partner Det. Stark (Alfonzo Rachel) who work an informant network to identify a doctor who had been selling prescription drugs illegally. As the case unfolded, Wood and District Attorney Sarah Jane Morris were confronted not only by the horrors of the case but also fierce resistance from government and personal politics. “Gosnell” is directed by Nick Searcy who starred in “The Shape of Water” and the critically acclaimed FX series “Justified.”

As many of you know, we try to avoid the abortion topic here at The Daily Buzz..  That said, its newsworthy just how Planned Parenthood (PP) bullies and intimidates the opposition.  Yes, the scheduling of this screening of Gosnell by the film’s producers at the same hotel that PP was having a convention was not an accident.  BUT, they applied for the use of the room for the screening of the film, paid the fees, and did everything appropriately.  So, that’s on that Hyatt for allowing competing entities to have their functions at the same time.  When the left bullies conservatives, it’s ok..and they get away with it.  Such is the case here with PP.  Typical…

Burt Reynolds Dies at 82

Burt Reynolds, the charismatic star of such films as Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit who set out to have as much fun as possible on and off the screen — and wildly succeeded — has died. He was 82. Reynolds, who received an Oscar nomination when he portrayed porn director Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights (1997) and was the No. 1 box-office attraction for a five-year stretch starting in the late 1970s, died Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida, his manager, Erik Kritzer, told The Hollywood Reporter. Always with a wink, Reynolds shined in many action films (often doing his own stunts) and in such romantic comedies as Starting Over (1979) opposite Jill Clayburgh and Candice Bergen; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) with Dolly Parton; Best Friends (1982) with Goldie Hawn; and, quite aptly, The Man Who Loved Women (1983) with Julie Andrews. Though beloved by audiences for his brand of frivolous, good-ol’-boy fare, the playful Reynolds rarely was embraced by the critics. The first time he saw himself in Boogie Nights, he was so unhappy he fired his agent. (He went on to win a Golden Globe but lost out in the Oscar supporting actor race to Robin Williams for Good Will Hunting, a bitter disappointment for him.) “I didn’t open myself to new writers or risky parts because I wasn’t interested in challenging myself as an actor. I was interested in having a good time,” Reynolds recalled in his 2015 memoir, But Enough About Me. “As a result, I missed a lot of opportunities to show I could play serious roles. By the time I finally woke up and tried to get it right, nobody would give me a chance.” Still, Reynolds had nothing to apologize for. He was Hollywood’s top-grossing star every year from 1978 through 1982, equaling the longest stretch the business had seen since the days of Bing Crosby in the 1940s. In 1978, he had four movies playing in theaters at the same time. Reynolds’ career also is marked by the movies he didn’t make. Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson and Bruce Willis surely were grateful after he turned down the roles of Han Solo, retired astronaut Garrett Breedlove and cop John McClane in Star Wars, Terms of Endearment and Die Hard, respectively. He often said that passing on James L. Brooks’ Endearment was one of his worst career mistakes. (Nicholson won an Oscar for playing Breedlove.)

Very sorry to hear of Burt’s passing..  For more, click on the text above.  Think I’ll watch Smokey and the Bandit tonight..  Thanks for the many laughs, Burt.  R.I.P.

Neil Armstrong Movie Starring Canadian Ryan Gosling Doesn’t Feature American Flag

A new movie starring Canadian actor Ryan Gosling tells of the story of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon–but omits the American flag. The Telegraph reports that the flag is not shown in the new movie First Man, with star Ryan Gosling saying that the American moon landing “transcended countries and borders,” and that instead of being an American achievement, it was a “human achievement.” The Canadian actor also acknowledged his own “cognitive bias” due to his nationality. First Man is slated for an October 12, 2018 release date. It’s unclear exactly why the movie would omit the iconic image of Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon with the American flag planted in the surface, even if the producers do consider it a “human achievement” and not solely an American one. Although, it is solely an American one, as the United States is, to this day, the only nation that sent a man to the moon. Gosling hasn’t been as outspoken about his political beliefs as many of his celebrity peers have been in the past, but he has shown flashes of his political sympathies. He once tweeted out a video of socialist Bernie Sanders hugging a Muslim student after the student asked about Islamophobia in America.

Soo..  We now know that Ryan Gosling is another liberal HollyWEIRD actor.  What a shocker, lol.  Let’s be clear..  This is typical HollyWEIRD hating America.  The iconic moment when Neil planted the American flag on the moon was of great historic significance.  At the time, we (i.e. America) was in a “Space Race” with the then Soviet Union.  The planting of the flag was a moment of victory for us.  Yes, it was a “human” achievement.  BUT, it was a uniquely AMERICAN achievement and victory.  Sorry if that offends the tender, bed-wetting sensibilities of the liberals who don’t want to offend some.  Those who are offended by that historical moment need to get over it.  Remember Sputnik?  Well, if the Soviets had beaten us to the moon. and had planted the Soviet flag on the moon, I’m sure socialist-loving HollyWEIRD would have happily included that in the film.  The great Buzz Aldrin has already weighed in on some of Ryan’s ridiculous statements..and he’s clearly not happy with this brazen history revisionism.  Can’t blame him.  I don’t plan on wasting my money supporting this bs.  Hope you don’t either.

“Top Gun” sequel filming aboard Norfolk-based aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln

The highway to the danger zone will run through Hampton Roads. The sequel to the 1986 blockbuster “Top Gun” is being filmed aboard the Norfolk-based USS Abraham Lincoln this week, according to the Navy. The original film inspired a generation of fighter pilots and served as a recruiting bonanza for the Navy. The much-anticipated sequel began shooting May 31, according to a photo on Tom Cruise’s Instagram account. The photo featured him in a flight suit near a fighter jet with the same helmet he wore in the original film and referenced an oft-quoted line from the original movie: “I feel the need, the need for speed.” The first day of shooting took place at Naval Air Station North Island in California, the Navy said. Few details about what the film will be about have been released, but Cruise revealed in an interview with “Access Hollywood” last year that it would be called “Top Gun: Maverick.” “Stylistically it’ll be the same,” Cruise said in the interview. “We’ll have big, fast machines. … It’s going to be a competition film like the first one and it’s going to be in the same vein, the same tone as the first one, but a progression for Maverick.” A 15-person crew from Paramount Pictures and Bruckheimer Films went aboard the Lincoln on Sunday and will remain through Saturday, said Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. Dave Hecht. He said no actors are aboard and that the crew is shooting footage on the flight deck of air operations, which include F/A-18 Super Hornets from Virginia Beach-based Carrier Air Wing Seven taking off and landing as part of their carrier qualifications. “This opportunity is one of many aircraft carrier embarks planned pierside and at sea on both coasts coordinated by the Commander, Naval Air Forces,” Hecht said in an email from aboard the Lincoln. “Top Gun inspired countless men and women to volunteer to protect and defend our country as Naval aviators and the crew of USS Abraham Lincoln are excited to play a small role in bringing this story back to the silver screen and inspiring another generation to serve in the world’s finest Navy.”

Indeed…  The original Top Gun was a HUGE marketing coup for the Navy.  We expect this will have a similar effect.  For more, click on the text above.

A Marvel Heist and the Booming Business (and Seedy Underworld) of Movie Collectibles

With the market for memorabilia breaking records, collectors and auction houses must contend with thieves, fakers and skeptical police who wonder, “Who in their right mind would pay that much for that?” The hero’s shield from Captain America. Robert Downey Jr.’s mask from Iron Man. A set of X-23 claws from Logan. They’re among the more than $1 million in memorabilia stolen in late February from a Southern California public storage unit in suburban Rancho Cucamonga, allegedly by a pair of thieves now being prosecuted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. The cache, much of which has yet to be recovered, comprised part of Marvel collector Max Anderson’s Stan Lee Museum, a pop-up exhibition he’s operated for seven years on the Comic-Con circuit. Around the time of the Rancho Cucamonga heist, an Iron Man suit reportedly valued at $325,000 was plundered from another storage unit, this one 60 miles away in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Pacoima. LAPD detectives are still attempting to solve that case. It’s unclear whether there’s a link. The crimes — along with recent six-figure inside-job robberies targeting the rare collections of Steve Sansweet, the former longtime head of Lucasfilm fan relations, and Joe Quesada, Marvel Entertainment’s ex-chief creative officer — highlight what insiders and experts already know. The untamed, boomtown realm of entertainment artifacts, especially the geekiest ones derived from studio productions and actors’ personal estates, has become a potent business (with some auction house experts estimating it has ballooned from $20 million to $40 million in annual sales a decade ago to $200 million to $400 million today). “I have hedge funds looking to diversify into this market,” says Darren Julien, CEO of Julien’s Auctions. The interest is arriving as Hollywood collectibles are on the verge of a major wave of canonization in the future permanent displays of L.A.’s forthcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. This follows decades of condescension or outright dismissal. (The previous high-visibility marker for memorabilia reverence in the public sphere was the 1990s, when patrons of Planet Hollywood franchises convened under typically zeitgeist-driven chazerai on the order of Tom Arnold’s getup from The Stupids.) James Comisar, a collectibles consultant recognized for his authentication expertise, describes how, in an increasingly “seismic” market, collectors “with unlimited spending potential are trying to club each other to death” for a limited number of the most “iconic pieces — the pieces that you recognize from across the room, the ones that don’t need a descriptive plaque, the instantly recognizable ones where you creep up to the display case, your voice drops, and you go, ‘Holy shit!’ ” As a result, the hunt is always on for the next cache, and auction houses are constantly working relationships in the hope of securing the deaccession of a production’s original materials or a star’s personal property, the latter governed by the so-called Four D’s of estate sales: death, divorce, debt and downsizing. “That’s what I do all day,” says Joe Maddalena, owner of Profiles in History, who has handled a series of sales of Debbie Reynolds’ belongings before and after her 2016 death, grossing more than $25 million. Sansweet jokes, “I’ve been approached by several auction houses: ‘Any time you’re ready to sell!’ ” Reynolds was the industry’s own most famous collector of Hollywood memorabilia, accumulating items ranging from Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz ruby slippers and Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway grate” dress from The Seven Year Itch to a Charlie Chaplin bowler hat. (Now that title arguably belongs to Guillermo del Toro, who maintains Bleak House, a private suburban L.A. residence in the western San Fernando Valley, for his substantial holdings of horror props and other objects.) Reynolds began amassing her trove at what’s agreed to be the dawn of memorabilia collecting: When MGM, under financial pressure, unloaded its physical assets in a first-of-its-kind 1970 auction, resulting in an unprecedented flood of tens of thousands of relics. “I saw people coming in from New Orleans, taking back trucks’ worth of costumes for Mardi Gras,” recalls noted costume archivist and conservator Glenn Brown, who helped stage the event. (He also modeled key pieces onstage, including Clark Gable’s suede outfit from 1951’s Across the Wide Missouri.) “Now I’ll see items associated with the biggest names — Judy Garland, Joan Crawford — selling for 100 times what people paid for them, and others are making copies that are either faked or misidentified in [auction] catalogs, like a Rembrandt.” Adding to any authenticator’s challenge is pop culture collectibles’ unique paradox: These commodities are frequently ersatz objects in the first place, they weren’t usually built to last, their value is in most cases purely symbolic, and their wealthy buyers are, almost by definition, hopeless romantics when it comes to the glory of being deceived by screen illusions. “If [these individuals] were buying a company, they’d go up and down over it a million times and not take anyone’s word for it — they’d do due diligence,” posits Veep executive producer David Mandel, a major collector of Star Wars and comics paraphernalia. “But yet people buy stuff all the time and merrily go, ‘I don’t care.’ ” It’s also a category in which larceny and fraud can flourish because some of the structural safeguards found in analogous markets like the fine art world and sports memorabilia scene have yet to materialize. In addition, law enforcement has generally taken thievery in those other sectors more seriously than cases in the entertainment collectibles realm.

For more, click on the text above.